Recruitment of Youth for Terror Camps in Kashmir: Kerala HC Upholds Conviction, Life Term of 10 Accused

The Kerala High Court on Monday upheld the conviction and life sentence of 10 accused, including suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Tadiyantavide Naseer, by an NIA court in 2013 in a case regarding recruitment of youths from Kerala for terror camps in Jammu and Kashmir to ‘wage war against India’. While upholding their convictions, the high court said, “For those who have such radical thoughts, we can only say that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, if you just look at history.” The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court had convicted and sentenced to life term 13 persons for the offences of waging war against India and conspiring to wage war against the country as provided under Sections 121 and 121A of the Indian Penal Code.

It had also sentenced them to life in prison for various offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). A bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and C Jayachandran upheld the conviction and jail terms of 10 out of the 13 accused and acquitted the remaining three — M H Faisal, Ummer Farooq and Muhammed Navas.

The bench also additionally convicted the 10 accused for the offences of criminal conspiracy, collecting arms to wage war against India and sedition as provided under Sections 120B, 122 and 124A of the IPC, respectively, and sentenced them to life imprisonment for each of these crimes. The high court, however, said the life sentences shall run concurrently.

The 10 accused were convicted for the offences under Sections 120B, 122 and 124A of IPC on an appeal moved by the NIA against the acquittal of all the 13 accused for these crimes. The High Court, in its 205 page judgement, also dismissed the appeals of the 10 accused against their conviction and sentence by the NIA court in 2013.

The joint verdict came on the appeals by the 13 accused against their conviction and sentencing, and the NIA plea for convicting them for the additional offences under Section 120B, 122 and 124A of the IPC.

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